Kylei came home from zir violin lesson to a locked door, which ze knocked on. I didn't know that ze did not have zir key, so I didn't get up right away, but instead called zir phone to see if it was zir (I didn't want to answer if it wasn't zir). Ze didn't answer, but the banging got louder so I went downstairs and at the door, called out "who is it?" Ze answered and I let zir in, and ze was very upset that it had taken me so long to open the door. Ze had had a harrowing drive home in a storm and was very stressed out. Ze asked upsetly (not sure of the exact emotion) why it had taken so long, and I explained, and went back to my room. Ze came in and expressed more anger about me not opening the door right away. I said it wasn't fair to expect me to know ze didn't have a key (ze had misplaced it), and Kylei said ze expected me to know because ze asked me to leave it unlocked yesterday. I said that that didn't mean I would assume it was true from then on. Ze started talking again about how scary the drive was, and I said that I understood that it was scary and ze was stressed out, but I didn't want that upsetness to be directed at me and asked zir to leave until ze could calm down some. Ze left, and about 15 minutes later came back and said, "I'm not mad at you any more but I'm still upset, can I come in?" and I said yes, and ze asked for a hug, and I said yes, and then we had eye contact while I patted zir reassuringly and then ze laid next to me on the bed and pressed zir forehead against me.
We have come so incredibly far from when we first got together and misunderstandings like this would explode out of proportion. Being able to trust that someone would only hurt you on accident (and would earnestly try to keep from repeating it), and being able to set boundaries for one's own safety, and being able to see where a misdirected emotion is happening (and not take it at face value), and being able to ask for the comfort you need are all super awesome skills. I love looking at how we've both developed those skills in our two years together. When you have two highly-emotional people living deeply intertwined lives, it's either get good at conflicts or create distance, and we don't want distance.